American researchers claim that changing the time of the last meal of the day can have a direct impact on your weight and figure.

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When you start a diet, or simply want to maintain a balanced diet, the timing of meal intake and their diversification raises questions. Why do we have to eat at the same time every day? Should we eat normally in the evening, or rather settle for a soup? A study published in the journal Cell metabolism indicates that the risk of obesity and overweight may worsen depending on the time of eating. “We conducted an experiment to determine the effects of late versus early feeding while closely controlling nutrient intake, physical activity, sleep and light exposure“, summarize the researchers in Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston). Here is their conclusion.

Eating late makes it easier to gain weight, but why?

The consequences of a late diet on our metabolism are multiple, according to these scientists. Mainly, it would increase hunger, reduce calorie burning, contribute to weight gain and could also have an impact on appetite regulating hormones. Even more surprisingly, eating too late would reduce energy expenditure to wake up and body temperature for 24 hours. “We asked ourselves: Does the time we eat matter when everything else fits together? And we found that eating four hours later made a significant difference to our hunger levels, the way we burn calories after eating and the way we store fat.”says Professor Nina Vujovic, lead author of the study.

It is better to eat at 18.00 instead of 10 p.m.

To determine the ideal time for the last meal of the day, the researchers studied 16 overweight or obese patients between the ages of 20 and 60. They then observed two separate protocols. The first, where dinner was taken early, around And the second, an identical meal consumed four hours later, at This second scenario showed a very strong impact on appetite-regulating hormones. Levels of leptin, or the “satiety hormone,” were lower in the 24 hours after a late meal than those who ate early. Conversely, levels of ghrelin, known as the “hunger hormone”, were higher the day after a late meal. Or to summarize, eating later tends to fill us up less and thus cause nocturnal cravings, but also increases the desire for food when we wake up.